Understanding Mothers’ experiences and Wishes Related to Breastfeeding Counselling in the Helsinki Maternity and Child Health Clinics : A Thematic analysis
Lydén, Julia; Zakowski, Livia (2020)
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There are undeniable benefits to breastfeeding for both mother and child. The WHO rec-ommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life and to continue for up to two years and beyond. However, statistics show that only few women in Finland breastfeed according to these recommendations. This study was conducted in collaboration with the City of Helsinki. The aim of this study is to provide insight into mothers’ experi-ences and their wishes for breastfeeding counselling within the maternity and child health clinics in the City of Helsinki. The research questions were: what were the mother’s experi-ences and how did they perceive the counseling they received at the maternity and child health clinic? What are the elements associated with good breastfeeding counselling? What kind of breastfeeding counseling and support did the women express they would want? The data was originally gathered by the breastfeeding coordinator Nina Kivilaakso in con-nection to a different study. The data consisted of the answers to an open-ended question in the originally distributed questionnaire. A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted. The findings identified that mothers had positive, negative and neutral experiences of breast-feeding counselling. As well as identifying their expressed wishes for improved breastfeed-ing counselling. Several sub themes were identified within the themes. The findings of this study are the result of analyzing mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding counselling, and gaps were identified within the data. The findings offer valuable guidance in identifying those areas where breastfeeding counselling can be improved within the maternity and child health clinics. It could provide further valuable insight to research the experiences of the nurses working within the maternity and child health clinic, and their perceptions concern-ing resources for breastfeeding counselling.